OKC Thunder at Utah Jazz game 6 preview: Win or go home

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 25: Russell Westbrook
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - APRIL 25: Russell Westbrook /
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OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – APRIL 25: Donovan Mitchell
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – APRIL 25: Donovan Mitchell /

This game has the feel of a must-win for the Jazz. To drop one at home and travel to Oklahoma to take on the emboldened OKC Thunder stars in game seven… not even rookie confidence could ease these nerves.

That said, Donovan Mitchell and company will be playing their very hardest to take care of business in this game six. They would take all the rest they can get before facing Houston. Anyway, on to the keys.

Be aggressive with Rudy Gobert

The Stifle Tower, Rudy Gobert has a good argument to win Defensive Player of the Year this season. It stands to reason that one should not be aggressive with the mighty shot-blocker.

As Westbrook has shown us many times over the years, it also pays to be fearless. Gobert’s foul trouble has had a big impact on the series. The more the OKC Thunder attack him, the more likely that is to continue.

The Frenchman will be conscious of his foul woes, but that is all the more reason for the boys in blue to go at him.

Move Melo to the second unit

I am officially tired of suggesting this. Many have said that Carmelo Anthony is washed – just too old to have the same impact he once had. I believe that is not entirely true.

Even if Melo has lost a step, there is no reason that he can no longer be a very effective scorer. His issues stem from requiring volume, something few players could realistically expect playing alongside Paul George and Russ.

The Thunder made their run, a highlight of these young playoffs, with Carmelo on the bench. Jerami Grant is built for this series; much more capable of defending the post against Utah’s bigs, while still hustling and providing a spark of energy in transition.

Even if Melo is such a poor team-player that he refuses the role, he must be a nominal starter only.

Play like the season is on the line (BECAUSE IT IS)

If the OKC Thunder drop this one, the season is over. The big OK3 and Billy Donovn’s ability to coach them will be considered failed experiments. Wednesday night showed us however, there is still hope.

As always, we saw flashes of what this team is capable of. We only see it half of the time, as this OKC squad has been one of the least predictable in the league.

All of the aforementioned aggression and tips have to happen right out of the gate. It is one thing to mount a large comeback at Chesapeake Energy in OKC, but in Utah it would be much more difficult.

If the Thunder come out clicking from the start, they could push the series to seven, with all of the momentum and home court. I like those odds, so let’s make it happen, okay?